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Rail News Home Intermodal

4/13/2005



Rail News: Intermodal

Riverport to build 'AgriPort,' increase car storage capacity



Riverport Railroad L.L.C. is preparing to attract business well beyond its Savanna, Ill., borders. Yesterday, the 68-mile short line announced plans to spend $21 million to build an inland intermodal “AgriPort,” and expand rail-car storage and repair capacity by spring 2007.

Linking to existing and proposed northwestern Illinois Foreign Trade Zones, the AgriPort would target containers imported from Asia to midwestern distribution points. The short line plans to collect emptied containers at the intermodal facility and reload the equipment with agricultural products for export to Asia.

Riverport Railroad also will acquire real estate to increase car storage capacity 33 percent to 4,000 units, build a bulk commodity yard and transload facility, and construct a marshalling yard to store up to 110-car trains.

To fund the project, the short line expects to raise $15.5 million in private financing and use a $5.5 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program loan approved by the Federal Railroad Administration last month.

Established in 1999, Riverport Railroad controls infrastructure and facilities on a 1,400-acre site previously owned by the Savanna Army Ordnance Depot (which closed in 2000). The short line interchanges with BNSF Railway Co.

“We believe the size of this facility, the easy connection with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and the eventual approval of the adjacent Foreign Trade Zone makes [the project] a natural candidate for housing a regional intermodal transportation center to help balance imports with exports,” said Riverport Railroad President Jack Foster in a prepared statement.


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